Florida Man Discovers 22-Million-Year-Old Tooth From 50-foot Megalodon Shark

A man holding up a fish

It’s not uncommon to find sharks’ teeth washing up on the beaches of Florida. After all, the ocean is full of sharks, and those sharks have a lot of teeth that are constantly falling out of their mouths.

Most sharks have five rows of teeth, and individual sharks can have up to 3,000 in their mouth at once. It’s also been reported that a shark can lose up to 100 teeth per day.

There was something extra special about the shark’s tooth that a Florida man recently found, though. It’s not just any ole shark’s tooth. Its believed to be a 22 million-year-old tooth that hails from the mouth of a prehistoric 50-foot Megalodon shark.

According to KOMO News, Michael Nastasio was diving off the coast of Venice Beach when he made the remarkable discovery. He immediately knew he had found something special.

“I can’t take my eyes off of it.”

The word Megalodon literally translates to “large tooth,” and a large tooth it is indeed. The tooth was over 6-inches long and appeared to be even bigger than the man’s hand.

Megalodons swam the earth between 23 million and 3.6 million years ago and are widely considered to be one of the biggest predators in world history. The species was closely related to modern great white sharks. However, the average Megalodon was believed to be between 49 to 59 feet long, which is more than triple the length of the world’s largest great white.

An entire Megladon skeleton has never been recovered, but their size can be estimated by comparing remnant teeth to other fossils.

Megalodons were big enough that they preyed on whales, dolphins, and other sharks. It’s estimated that they could open their jaws between 9 and 11 feet wide to allow their massive, serrated teeth to go to work.

“These jaws were lined with 276 teeth, and studies reconstructing the shark’s bite force suggest that it may have been one of the most powerful predators ever to have existed.”

Nastasio is no stranger to finding sharks’ teeth. He captains a boat through his company Black Gold Fossil Charters, that takes tourists out to sea to dive for a sharks’ teeth and other deep-sea relics.

He’s found other Megalodon teeth before, but nothing quite this big.

He’s been diving in the Gulf of Mexico for over a decade but said this is his most remarkable discovery yet.

“I’m so happy right now and literally still shaking,” he posted on Facebook after his discovery.

I have been fossil hunting for almost 11 years and running my own charter now for a little over a year. 

I have found thousands of megalodon shark teeth and other various fossils. I’m in the water with the customers a lot of times, and you can hear them underwater when they find a tooth. You can hear them yell. It just makes you feel good.”


A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock